The Minor in Innovation and Design (25 credits) is open to all UW Tacoma students, equipping them with ways of thinking, creating, and intervening in problems in the world in a way that invites collaboration and ethically engages communities. Students will participate in iterative cycles of design thinking, a generative and creative problem-solving approach that places the human experience at the heart of its process. The Minor will draw on methods and theoretical perspectives from the human sciences and the design disciplines.
Different perspectives will be leveraged through a collaborative teaching and learning model. To further UW Tacoma’s urban-serving mission, students will engage in design projects that link them to pressing issues of the community. The global framework will extend such engagement to projects across the world. Capstone projects are presented at the annual Global Engagement Conference, providing students with a unique professional development and career building opportunity.
Students may expect to:
Participate in a project-based, hands-on, and collaborative design curriculum.
Develop a portfolio of their work to share with future employers.
Work with community and industry partners to solve real-world problems.
Learn a creative approach to problem solving, cultivate deep empathy, and generate innovative ideas.
Explore issues of design justice and consider how design can intervene to make positive changes in the world around us.
Present at the annual Global Engagement Conference
The Minor consists of five-credit courses named below, including two core courses (5 credits each), a practicum (taken twice, 5 credits each), and an elective course (5 credits). The Minor will be scheduled so that it can be completed in one or two years depending on student schedules.
This course introduces practices of user-centered design. Students work in teams to identify a design problem and explore possible solutions through iterative research and design. A simplified design cycle and a small but powerful toolbox of research and design methods are employed. Students will manifest their design ideas using a range of communicative genres. This course is a common entry point for the Minor and encapsulates and functions as a microcosm of the Minor as a whole.
This is a studio-based course focused on situated, practical, and adaptive design. Students work in small interdisciplinary teams where they undertake design projects to develop innovative solutions to challenges arising within the campus, local, or regional community. Student teams are mentored by the instructor(s) and paired with an external stakeholder. Students extend their practice beyond the idealized “toolbox” approach of the introductory course by attuning to the particulars of the design situation that they face and responding adaptively, requiring the learning and use of additional research/design methods and communicative forms from those previously encountered.
Prerequisite: TWRT 350, TCOM 330, TCSS 452, T INFO 220, TWRT 353, TWRT 355, or TWRT 440
In this capstone course for the Minor, students will engage in a series of reflective exercises in relation to prior and current design activities, linking these activities to their Major degree and future trajectory. The focus, and its reflexive character, will be in attending to the ways in which design activities result in reciprocal changes to the world and to oneself as a designer. This course serves to integrate across the range of activities and ideas encountered in the Minor, to build connections between the Minor and (inter)disciplinary ideas and practices of each student’s Major, and to suggest possibilities for extending design practice in whatever future endeavors a student undertakes after graduating.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of 2.0 in TWRT 350; and a minimum grade of 2.0 in TGID 320.
Students completing the Minor in Innovation and Design will choose one design-oriented course within programs across campus from the list below. In this course, students will encounter one or more conceptions of design and its application within one or more domains of human activity.
** indicates a course that can also serve as an alternative prerequisite for the T GID 320 Innovation & Design Studio course.